Public Records Request


As of February 2012, most Office of Hearing Examiner case records, from 2010 to the present, are available to the public through our online case file search. Please check this database before filing a records request.

If you are looking for data about cases, please check our annual reports to see if information you seek can be found there.

If you would like to submit a public records request, please submit your request through the City's Public Records Request Center (Please note, there is no charge for inspecting public records in person at our office. Hard copies of records are charged at the following rates:

  • Black and white copies (8 ½ x 11) are 15 cents per page
  • Other media will incur the actual cost of materials
  • Mailing includes the actual cost of postage and the shipping container
  • Large Requests (RCW 42.56.120). The Office of Hearing Examiner:
    • May charge a deposit of up to ten percent of the estimated cost of an entire request before copying records
    • May provide copies in installments
    • May require advance payment prior to providing additional installments

Payments must be made payable to the City of Seattle.

Responses to Public Records Requests

Within five business days after receipt of the request, the Public Records Officer will do one or more of the following:

  • Make the records available for inspection and/or copying
  • Acknowledge receipt of the request and provide a reasonable estimate of when records will be available
  • Send the requested copies to the requestor if payment has been received
  • Seek clarification of an unclear request
  • Deny the request with an explanation of the denial

All records will be released if they do not fall within the specific exemptions of the Public Records Act or other statutes that exempt or prohibit disclosure of specific information or records. The Public Records Officer will state the reason each withheld record or redacted portion of a record is exempt from disclosure.

In compliance with RCW 42.56.070(9), the Office of Hearing Examiner does not disclose lists of individuals for commercial purposes. A declaration certifying that records containing lists of individuals will not be used for commercial purposes is required prior to their release.

Withdrawn or Abandoned Requests

When the requestor either withdraws the request or fails to fulfill his or her obligations to inspect the records, pay the deposit, or make final payment within thirty days of being requested to do so, the Public Records Officer will close the request and notify the requestor that it has been closed.

Review of Denials

A requestor may submit a written request for review of any denied record to:

Ryan P. Vancil
Public Records Appeals Officer
P.O. Box 94729
Seattle, WA 98124-4729
(206) 684-0521

The appeals officer will respond to the request for review within two business days of receiving it

Public Records Act

Hearing Examiner Records Retention Schedule

Hearing Examiner

Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 4000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124
Phone: (206) 684-0521
Contact Us
Hours: Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Office of Hearing Examiner is a separate and independent office of the City created by the Seattle Municipal Code. The Office is charged with conducting fair and impartial administrative hearings, when authorized by the Code, to review the actions of various City departments.